On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy coming to the Cincinnati Zoo fell in the moat on the Gorilla World habitat. Witnesses claim they heard a child say he wanted to go in the gorilla enclosure. The boy then climbed a three-foot-tall fence, crawled through four feet of bushes and after that fell fifteen feet into a moat of shallow water. Zoo officials immediately signaled to the three gorillas from the habitat to send back inside, and a couple females succeeded. However, the 3rd gorilla, the inquisitive 440-pound (200 kg) male silverback, Harambe, climbed into the moat to analyze a child splashing in water.
Over the next 10 minutes, Harambe became increasingly "agitated and disoriented" by the screams of onlookers. He dragged the child with the water, occasionally propping him up whilst sat, or pushing him down as he stood. Harambe exhibited "strutting" behavior - walking on with arms and legs stiffly extended to appear bigger - a bluffing move, though one with inherent danger should he throw or drag the boy around too roughly. Harambe then carried the boy up a ladder from the moat onto dry land. Afraid to the boy's life, zoo officials resolved to kill the gorilla, this with a single gunshot. Cincinnati firefighters said the boy was between Harambe's legs in the event the shot was fired. Harambe was killed one day after his 17th birthday